There are many ways you could write a job advert, but, absent something pre-existing to work from, here’s the skeleton template I use.
This was written as part of wider documentation about ensuring healthy and inclusive hiring practices, so isn’t a self-contained fully-fleshed-out thesis, but it’s been handy for me to use and re-use.
The examples are a little contrived and brief, but should serve as a basic indicator of the kind of content intended.
$COMPANY is seeking a $TITLE
$Company is seeking a $title at $location, with a short high-level sentence or two covering the role.
This is your hook so get the key bits in there.
Example: FooCorp is seeking an Engineering Manager to work in our London office managing the Baz team who build widgets for our European customers.
Example: Acme Inc. is seeking a Python developer in the US to join our distributed team building internal platform tooling for our product range.
Who we are
Broad introductory context about the company - who are you and what do you do. This is probably standard text you can lift from your careers page.
What we want
Expand on the introductory context and describe some of the things they’d be called upon to do. The kind of language you’d find in a formal job description, and not “requirements” or empty platitudes.
Example: We’re looking for an Engineering Manager to lead our team of Engineers building Baz, which does X and Y. You’ll focus on helping the team succeed, balancing line management and coaching of the individual contributors on the team, along with supporting our project management organisation with agile delivery.
What we have
Relevant facts about the role - team shape, tech stack, tooling, and more. Go more concrete and focussed than the broad intro in “Who we are”. Bonus points if you can talk about some upcoming projects and direction.
Example: Our teams are cross-functional and include software engineers, designers, a product manager, and more. The Baz team sits within Division X and is a growing area of the organisation, having recently taken on A and B.
Example: Our services are written in Python and deployed to AWS with X and Y. We use A, B and C, and we’re currently in the middle of a project to migrate D to E.
Things we need
Bullet point requirements. Actual requirements - things you won’t hire someone without. Explain why each point is important. You almost certainly do not require a degree.
Example: Good command of spoken and written English - we’re an international team and English is the agreed standard for internal communication, and communication is important to us
Example: The right to live and work in country X where our office is - we are a small organisation who do not have the resources to provide visa sponsorship
Example: Understanding and familiarity of (product domain) - we can train you in the specific tooling and the particular subdomain, but we need people to hit the ground running so we want candidates to come with a base level of understanding of the topic
Things we’d like to see
Bullet points of things you value. Go broad, illustrate what you think could be important or useful. The more you can explain about why you value these things, the better.
Be sure to emphasise that the things listed are not essential and that they shouldn’t discourage anyone from applying if they meet the requirements above.
Example: In addition to the above list, here’s some things we think would make an exceptional candidate - but don’t be put off if none of them apply to you
Example: Experience building high-traffic web services will be incredibly valuable - we have X million users doing Y, and it’s important our app handles that
Concrete next steps of what they need to do to apply. Job adverts end up copied and shared through a variety of lossy media, so don’t rely on linked text - include the full URL / details verbatim in the text. Be explicit about what you’ll need from them - e.g. a CV in PDF and a cover letter. I like to proactively encourage people to apply if they’re not sure - I’d much rather have a conversation than someone rule themselves out without us ever seeing them.
It’s not perfect, but it’s served me well in various forms - feedback welcomed!